Ways to increase armor class?


Advice


So I'm playing a 5th-level ranger and I'm having a hard time with my armor class. The character concept is "Queen of the Jungle", so she wields a spear and most of her skills are focused on climbing, acrobatics, etc. I don't want to violate this character concept but need to bring my AC up from 18 somehow.

Here's what I have:

• 17 DEX (I'll raise it at 8th level)
• Masterwork Darkwood buckler
• Dodge Feat
• Amulet of Natural Armor +1
• Leather Armor (ideally I'd wear less than this, but I made a concession)

How can I increase my AC beyond 18? I'm the party's front-line fighter by default, since our other characters are a cleric, rogue, and druid, though I actually have lower AC then those characters!

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

I know the obvious answers: wear heavier armor, stop giving up my loot and buy some magic items, get DM permission to rearrange my attributes so I have a higher DEX. None of those are feasible for one reason or another, so are there any options left?

This has always been something that has bothered me about D&D. Attack constantly goes up, but defense requires magic items. *dislike*

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Can't your armor gradually increase in power too? It would even represent a lower wealth-equivalent than your amulet.

Maybe you could get your GM to give you a scaling AC bonus, like a monk?


Have you got enough int on the character for combat expertise? That would help some as could shield of swings, dodge, favoured defense and shield focus.

If she hasn't got an archetype then if your dm allows infiltrator lets you buff ac at times too.


Ask the Cleric to cast Shield of Faith and the Druid to cast Barkskin on you?

Note that Barkskin does offer an enhancement bonus to natural armor (same as your amulet) but it does provide a +2 bonus so it would give you +1 AC overall compared to what you have now.


From personal experience with a DM who believes that giving out magic items to his players in an absolute sin there are a couple of ways to get around these things if your DM is willing to work with you (which is sounds like he is).

You could always find an animal or magical creature with extremely durable hide, like a hydra or a bullette and slay these creatures then use their hide as armor, perhaps your DM would be willing to give you extra bonuses beside the standard for just "hide" if its taken from something like that.

Otherwise I would just suggest changing up tactics, because in one way or another you've put yourself into a corner.

Dark Archive

HawaiianWarrior wrote:

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

Well it looks like you DM is working with you which is awesome! I suggest the 3.5 Feat from BOED Vow of Poverty "VOP" (not PF water down version).

You could add your own flavor to it (instead of VOP) call it a donation to the god of Nature or whatever you title you like to wrap around it.

This Feat does everything you need it to...

Character Level Benefits

1st AC bonus +4
2nd Bonus exalted feat
3rd AC bonus +5, endure elements
4th Exalted strike +1 (magic), bonus exalted feat
5th Sustenance
6th AC bonus +6, deflection +1, bonus exalted feat
7th Resistance +1, ability score enhancement +2
8th Natural armor +1, mind shielding, bonus exalted feat
9th AC bonus +7
10th Exalted strike +2 (good), damage reduction 5/magic, bonus exalted feat
11th Ability score enhancement +4/+2
12th AC bonus +8, deflection +2, greater sustenance, bonus exalted feat
13th Resistance +2, energy resistance 5
14th Exalted strike +3, freedom of movement, bonus exalted feat
15th AC bonus +9, ability score enhancement +6/+4/+2, damage reduction 5/evil
16th Natural armor +2, bonus exalted feat
17th Exalted strike +4, resistance +3, regeneration
18th AC bonus +10, deflection +3, true seeing, bonus exalted feat
19th Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, damage reduction 10/evil
20th Exalted strike +5, energy resistance 15, bonus exalted feat

To lessen the power of the Feat you could removed the bonus feats or any other part that your DM thinks is too much but keep the armor bonuses and exhalted strike bonus can be added to any weapon you hold. Basically you can customize it to fit you needs, it gives you a great starting point to work with.

:
In many cultures and belief systems, the height of purity is embodied in an ascetic lifestyle that involves forswearing all material possessions. Such a life is hard for most D&D characters even to imagine, since their possessions--particularly their magic items--are such an important part of their capabilities. A character who swears a vow of poverty and take the appropriate feats, Sacred Vow and Vow of Poverty, cannot own magic items, but he gains certain spiritual benefits that can help outweigh the lack of those items. These benefits depend on his character level. The level at which the character swears the vow (and takes the appropriate feats) is irrelevant; if he gives up his possessions at 10th level he gains all the benefits of a 10th-level ascetic character, with the exception of bonus exalted feats.

AC Bonus (Su): A 1st-level ascetic receives a +4 exalted bonus to his Armor Class. The bonus increases to +5 at 3rd level, and thereafter increases by +1 for each 3 character levels. This bonus does not apply to touch attacks and does not hinder incorporeal touch attacks. Brilliant energy weapons, however, do not ignore this bonus. This does not stack with an armor bonus.

Bonus Exalted Feats: At 1st level, an ascetic gets a bonus exalted feat, and another bonus feat at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter. Unlike the other benefits of a vow of poverty, a character does not gain these bonus feats retroactively when he takes the Vow of Poverty feat; he only gains those bonus feats that apply for the levels he gains after swearing his vow. Thus, the bonus feat gained at 1st level is available only to humans who take both Sacred Vow and Vow of Poverty at 1st level.

Endure Elements (Ex): A 3rd-level ascetic is immune to the effects of being in a hot or cold environment. He can exist comfortably in conditions between -50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to make Fortitude saves (as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide).

Exalted Strike (Su): At 4th level, an ascetic gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all his attack and damage rolls. In effect, any weapon the character wields becomes a +1 magic weapon, and can overcome the damage reduction of a creature as though it were a magic weapon. This enhancement bonus rises to +2 at 10th level, to +3 at 14th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 20th level. At 10th level, any weapon damage the character deals is also considered to be good-aligned, so that it can bypass the damage reductions of some evil outsiders.

Sustenance (Ex): At 5th-level ascetic doesn't need to eat or drink.

Deflection (Su): A 6th-level ascetic receives a +1 deflection bonus to his Armor Class. This bonus increases to +2 at 12th level, and to +3 at 18th level.

Resistance (Ex): At 7th level, an ascetic gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, and to +3 at 17th level.

Ability Score Enhancement (Ex): At 7th level, an ascetic gains a +2 enhancement bonus to one ability score. At 11th level, he gains an extra +2 bonus to that score, and a +2 bonus to another ability score. At 15th level, he gains an extra +2 bonus to those two scores, and a +2 bonus to a third ability score. At 19th level, he gains an extra +2 bonus to those three scores, and a +2 bonus to a fourth ability score.

Natural Armor (Ex): At 8th level, an ascetic gains a +1 natural armor bonus, or his existing natural armor bonus increases by +1. It increases an extra +1 at 16th level.

Mind Shielding (Ex): Also at 8th level, an ascetic character becomes immune to detect thoughts, discern lies, and any attempt to discern his alignment.

Damage Reduction (Su): An ascetic gains damage reduction 5/magic at 10th level. At 15th level, this improves to 5/evil, and at 19th level to 10/evil.

Greater Sustenance (Ex): Once he attains 12th level, an ascetic character doesn't need to breathe.

Energy Resistance (Ex): At 13th level, an ascetic gains resistance 5 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic energy. At 20th level, this increases to resistance 15.

Freedom of Movement (Ex): At 14th level, an ascetic can act as if continually under the effect of a freedom of movement spell.

Regeneration (Ex): At 17th level, an ascetic heals 1 point of damage per level per hour rather than every day. (This ability cannot be aided by the Heal skill.) Nonlethal damage heals at a rate of 1 point of damage per level every 5 minutes.

True Seeing (Su): At 18th level, an ascetic gains a continuous true seeing ability, as the spell.

OTHER RAMIFICATIONS OF POVERTY
A character who has forsaken material possessions may find himself at a marked disadvantage when it comes to certain necessary expenses, such as expensive material components. One option is for ascetic characters to beg components from other party members, who are probably gaining as much benefit from having the spell cast as the caster is. Alternatively, an ascetic spellcaster can sacrifice experience points in place of expensive components, with 1 XP equivalent to 5 gp value of components.
Having a character in the party who has taken a vow of poverty should not necessarily mean that the other party members get bigger shares of treasure! An ascetic character must be as extreme in works of charity as she is in self-denial. The majority of her share of party treasure (or the profits from the sale thereof) should be donated to the needy, either directly (equipping rescued captives with gear taken from their fallen captors) or indirectly (making a large donation to a temple noted for its work among the poor). While taking upon herself the burden of poverty voluntarily, an ascetic recognizes that many people do not have the freedom to choose poverty, but instead have it forced upon them, and seeks to better those unfortunates as much as possible.

Liberty's Edge

Since you don't like wearing armor, and your DM is allowing some of your items to scale in lieu of accruing wealth, why not ask if you can have Bracers of Armor that scale as you level up? Then you can run around in a stereotypical Jungle Queen bikini.

Also, if he allows that, and depending on your character's Wisdom, would you consider a level of Monk? If your character isn't lawful, just go with the Martial Artist archetype. Of course, this won't work with the masterwork buckler...

Whatever you do, Pathfinder is not kind to any character who disdains wealth.


Thanks for the suggestions! I'm running them by my DM now...


You could learn to use a madu instead of your buckler. Then, if you use combat expertise or defensive fighting your penalty to hi is reduced.

If it was a twohanded Spear you're wielding you could lern the shield of swings feat.


I haven't heard if a madu... I'll look that up.

Yep, it's a regular spear I use two-handed, but I haven't given Shield of Swings much consideration because I give up half my damage for +4 AC, and right now I do 1d8+12 damage (combination of 16 STR, +1 two-handed weapon, Power Attack, and Furious Focus).


I see why you should loath wealth and gold, but why should your character loath a powerful weapon or a good armor? Just ask you DM to let you find specific stuff, you can tell him in advance.
You could also know/discover secret rituals to improve your equipment (e.g. soak your weapon in the blood of a powerful creature that you killed and let it absorb the light of the full moon to get another +1).

Also, what's the difference between leather and studded leather and hide? It's all about how you describe it.


Perhaps you could learn the master craftsman feat to be able to enchant your own armor/weapon. If your gm allows your amulett to become stronger he'll perhaps open a way around money needed to enchant your gear.
Perhaps by letting you collect rare herbs, precious stones and other things that you directly use in your enchantment ritual insteat of using it as money.


I dont avoid appropriate magic items we find, just haven't been very lucky I guess. :/

Still waiting to hear back from the DM. Thanks for the suggestions so far.


HawaiianWarrior wrote:

I dont avoid appropriate magic items we find, just haven't been very lucky I guess. :/

With "not lucky" I assume you mean that your GM is being a jerk, right?


Crysknife wrote:


With "not lucky" I assume you mean that your GM is being a jerk, right?

This seems unneccesarily harsh. As described the GM seems rather accommodating to the character choices, providing an alternative mechanic to gaining loot.

That being said, a GM doesn't have to be a jerk, to make the loot fitting to the enemies they meet, instead of tailoring them entirely to the PCs narrow choices.


Chain Mail Shirt (flavored as a Chain Mail Bikini AKA Red Sonja)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Silken ceremonial armor, or Armored Coat, maybe combined with an Armored Kilt, will give you the "Unarmored" feel, yet you will be armored.


I have similar issues with my druid. I managed to convince the GM to allow her to have "leaf" armor, which is a Golarion thing, but is slightly better than plain leather armor. She also has a belt of dexterity which boosts her dex from 16 to 18, which is another point to AC.

As a druid she can "barkskin" herself, and she does so when she has the chance to prep for battle. That's another +2. Perhaps your ranger can get a wand or somehow provide the druid with a pearl of power to pay back for the daily casting of barkskin.

If she really has time and is really worried about combat she can also cast "cat's grace" on herself, which is another point of AC due to dex boosting. Since she uses a bow, that's also a boost to her attack bonus too.

Otherwise I'd start bugging your GM for some magically enhanced armor and bucklers...


Sorry if I see this thread as: I give up all my moneys, why my character so bad?

Build glass cannon character, then make them even weaker "for role playing purposes" then be upset that the tank classes (druid and cleric) have better AC...

PF is balanced on an assumption of WBL (wealth by level). By purposefully choosing to give up your money you chose to put your character at least a full level if not more behind the party. You should have about 10k worth of gear at this level.

On top of that you purposely avoid choices that would give you a decent AC. You have a medium armor proficiency character, yet wear one of the least effective light armors (at least get a mithral chain shirt, its cheap and effective, enchant it while you are at it, 2100 is well worth it and is strictly better than all your gear combined). I didn't know that you could darkwood a buckler, bucklers are metal after all. Anyways enchant that as well. with just these steps alone you should be able to increase your armor by about +4 (upgrade armor, enchants +1 x2). Certainly better than the progress of a amulet. AC is about finding various stacking bonuses, not getting a super one source bonus.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

There's a Barbarian archetype for this type of character: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/barbarian/archetypes/paizo---b arbarian-archetypes/savage-barbarian

Don't see much of a way to help a ranger though. Maybe you could rebuild?

The Barbarian archetype isn't that strong either, but it hits the flavor on the nose.

As mentioned, if you have the Wis for a monk dip, that may be the way to go.


notabot wrote:

Sorry if I see this thread as: I give up all my moneys, why my character so bad?

Build glass cannon character, then make them even weaker "for role playing purposes" then be upset that the tank classes (druid and cleric) have better AC...

PF is balanced on an assumption of WBL (wealth by level). By purposefully choosing to give up your money you chose to put your character at least a full level if not more behind the party. You should have about 10k worth of gear at this level.

On top of that you purposely avoid choices that would give you a decent AC. You have a medium armor proficiency character, yet wear one of the least effective light armors (at least get a mithral chain shirt, its cheap and effective, enchant it while you are at it, 2100 is well worth it and is strictly better than all your gear combined). I didn't know that you could darkwood a buckler, bucklers are metal after all. Anyways enchant that as well. with just these steps alone you should be able to increase your armor by about +4 (upgrade armor, enchants +1 x2). Certainly better than the progress of a amulet. AC is about finding various stacking bonuses, not getting a super one source bonus.

You're right, yes, and I know it. I guess what it comes down to over and over again is that I have a character concept (I'm more of a character-as-person guy than character-as-series-of-numbers guy) and D&D just doesn't let me play it well, sometimes at all. There's just so much expectation and assumption baked into character design. One can't make a character of one's design, it has to be a choice of one of ~11 different types decided upon by some game designer somewhere. Might as well just have pregens. The old argument about "D&D is about archetypes" doesn't wash with me, because one might as well say "D&D is about playing overdone, tired old stereotypes." I want more from a game than that, and I don't think D&D has to be limited to those things.

Part of the problem is how 3.X D&D scales. It ramps up so high so fast that one has to min/max just to stay relevant, forcing the player to get into the optimization game. The mechanics force a play style that works well for some people, but leaves others in the cold. We rely on having a DM that is creative and open and willing to bend the rules, even though doing so easily breaks the fragile balance of the system.

Okay, rant off. It's just something I've run into time and time again over ten years of d20 D&D. I always hear "Try another game," but I *like* D&D and want to play it. I just don't want to have to make my character based on other people's ideas about what I should be doing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Some concepts, only stay within the concept, if they are weaker PCs.


I get where you're coming from on this one... I'm also the kind of person who prefers a character design over a character build. The things you have to look at when doing this though is that flavor can make your character weaker. I understand that this thread is about finding way to stay within the design while at the same time overcoming some of the weaknesses, but the truth behind how the game plays is that design will weaken you if you're not willing to bend with it a little.

I'm not sure that there is a whole lot you can do for your character without accepting some of the money your group gets as loot. If you *really* want to scale with the rest of your group talk with the other players out of game and ask if they would be willing to chip in for your character's gear from time to time since they're all getting more loot because you never take any. Then the group is building up one of there members and this can even breed more party cohesion...

Silver Crusade

Crane style feat line


The 5th level Fighter I'm running right now (Lore Warden, actually) can only wear light armor and has an AC of 21 which has proven more than adequate for me - mainly due to the advantages of a reach weapon and combat reflexes. You're weilding a spear already so Combat Reflexes is a must - they can't his you if they're dead, can they?
.
.

AC 21:
10 base
+4 Chain Shirt
+3 16 Dexterity
+1 Dodge
+2 Combat Expertise (have the Threatening Defender trait)
+1 Amulet of Natural Armor

In a recent combat scenario with this build at 5th level, I recently took on 8 3rd level Warriors at once. In two rounds I made 15 attacks, hitting with 8 of them and dealt enough damage to kill each one with a single shot. Conversely, they made a total of 8 attacks, hitting with 2 for 12 points of damage total.


WhipShire wrote:
HawaiianWarrior wrote:

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

Well it looks like you DM is working with you which is awesome! I suggest the 3.5 Feat from BOED Vow of Poverty "VOP" (not PF water down version).

You could add your own flavor to it (instead of VOP) call it a donation to the god of Nature or whatever you title you like to wrap around it.

This Feat does everything you need it to...

Character Level Benefits

1st AC bonus +4
2nd Bonus exalted feat
3rd AC bonus +5, endure elements
4th Exalted strike +1 (magic), bonus exalted feat
5th Sustenance
6th AC bonus +6, deflection +1, bonus exalted feat
7th Resistance +1, ability score enhancement +2
8th Natural armor +1, mind shielding, bonus exalted feat
9th AC bonus +7
10th Exalted strike +2 (good), damage reduction 5/magic, bonus exalted feat
11th Ability score enhancement +4/+2
12th AC bonus +8, deflection +2, greater sustenance, bonus exalted feat
13th Resistance +2, energy resistance 5
14th Exalted strike +3, freedom of movement, bonus exalted feat
15th AC bonus +9, ability score enhancement +6/+4/+2, damage reduction 5/evil
16th Natural armor +2, bonus exalted feat
17th Exalted strike +4, resistance +3, regeneration
18th AC bonus +10, deflection +3, true seeing, bonus exalted feat
19th Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, damage reduction 10/evil
20th Exalted strike +5, energy resistance 15, bonus exalted feat

To lessen the power of the Feat you could removed the bonus feats or any other part that your DM thinks is too much but keep the armor bonuses and exhalted strike bonus can be added to any...

The Book of Exalted Deeds is a 3.0 book, not 3.5 and using Vow of Poverty in a game is broken as hell, do not use it.

If you want to increase your AC boost the hell out of your Dex every chance you can, get Bracers of Armour, as high as you can, a ring of protection as high as you can and an Amulet of Natural Armour as high as you can.

Fight with two weapons instead of one and take the Two Weapon Defense feats, My Elven Paladin I play has all of these and I wear ZERO armour because of my high dex and my AC is almost 35. Granted I am level 16 but at level 5 my AC was great from doing this.


HawaiianWarrior wrote:

So I'm playing a 5th-level ranger and I'm having a hard time with my armor class. The character concept is "Queen of the Jungle", so she wields a spear and most of her skills are focused on climbing, acrobatics, etc. I don't want to violate this character concept but need to bring my AC up from 18 somehow.

Here's what I have:

• 17 DEX (I'll raise it at 8th level)
• Masterwork Darkwood buckler
• Dodge Feat
• Amulet of Natural Armor +1
• Leather Armor (ideally I'd wear less than this, but I made a concession)

How can I increase my AC beyond 18? I'm the party's front-line fighter by default, since our other characters are a cleric, rogue, and druid, though I actually have lower AC then those characters!

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

I know the obvious answers: wear heavier armor, stop giving up my loot and buy some magic items, get DM permission to rearrange my attributes so I have a higher DEX. None of those are feasible for one reason or another, so are there any options left?

This has always been something that has bothered me about D&D. Attack constantly goes up, but defense requires magic items. *dislike*

Obviously character concept is extremely important to you. So let me ask you this: WHY would your character have a high AC? (while sticking within your concept of course)

If there isn't a good reason, then I would guess that there won't be ANY suggestions here that will give you a high AC while sticking with your concept.

If there is a good reason, then one thing you might try is just spend the gold for regular gear (mithral chain shirt +1 for eg) and fluff it off as something else (mystical tattoos infused with divine magic or something), i.e., whatever your in-character reason is.

The Exchange

2000gp would upgrade your armor and your buckler to +1 each.....
Have your PC give up her share of gold to the party but when it comes time for upgrades they should chip in and help....


I'm going to also suggest a re-skin of the Vow of Poverty feat.

Also, by giving up your share of the loot, you are only INCREASING the power disparity as your allies will have a larger chunk of change than intended by WBL.

Or, simply re-skin EVERYTHING. People have thrown in a lot of good ideas. You want a stronger weapon? Invest gold in "ritual equipment", and next time you kill a powerful weapon soak the weapon in its blood, etc etc.
Amulet of Natural Armor? No problem. Your skin has gotten tougher over time from battle. No need to have a "magic item" involved.

Almost every single magic item you "wear", you could explain the bonuses happening from your experience in battle. Still wear and use the magic items as normal on your character sheet, but represent them differently on your actual in-game character.

TL;DR - fit the rules into your concept, not the other way around.


Hide armor is extremely similar to leather armor aesthetically, so you could probably get away with the extra +2 without changing your character's visual much.


Fake Healer wrote:

2000gp would upgrade your armor and your buckler to +1 each.....

Have your PC give up her share of gold to the party but when it comes time for upgrades they should chip in and help....

Other people in the party have suggested they'll "gift" me on occasion. It hasn't happened yet, mainly because Serpent's Skull has us away from any place where magic can be acquired in exchange for raw money. I do like your simple suggestion of increasing my leather armor and buckler for so cheap.

dunebugg wrote:
I'm going to also suggest a re-skin of the Vow of Poverty feat.

I thought about this, and went in search of something that exists between the 3.0 version and the Pathfinder version. Hopefully my DM will consider this, because it makes a lot of sense.

dunebugg wrote:
Also, by giving up your share of the loot, you are only INCREASING the power disparity as your allies will have a larger chunk of change than intended by WBL.

LOL, I realized this recently, too. I imagined the DM would decrease the loot haul, and it has been much lower than one would normally expect in one of these adventures.

dunebugg wrote:

Or, simply re-skin EVERYTHING. People have thrown in a lot of good ideas. You want a stronger weapon? Invest gold in "ritual equipment", and next time you kill a powerful weapon soak the weapon in its blood, etc etc.

Amulet of Natural Armor? No problem. Your skin has gotten tougher over time from battle. No need to have a "magic item" involved.

Almost every single magic item you "wear", you could explain the bonuses happening from your experience in battle. Still wear and use the magic items as normal on your character sheet, but represent them differently on your actual in-game character.

TL;DR - fit the rules into your concept, not the other way around.

You're on to something there. Maybe I can suggest this to the DM.


In the Advanced Race Guide, there's a defensive racial trait (worth 2 Race Points) called Bond to the Land. It grants the character a +2 dodge bonus to AC while within a specific type of terrain (selected from among the Ranger's favored terrain types). Perhaps you could convince your DM to allow this as a feat?

Dark Archive

Scott Walsh wrote:
WhipShire wrote:
HawaiianWarrior wrote:

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

To lessen the power of the Feat you could removed the bonus feats or any other part that your DM thinks is too much but keep the armor bonuses and exhalted strike bonus can

...

The Book of Exalted Deeds is a 3.0 book, not 3.5 and using Vow of Poverty in a game is broken as hell, do not use it.

If you want to increase your AC boost the hell out of your Dex every chance you can, get Bracers of Armour, as high as you can, a ring of protection as high as you can and an Amulet of Natural Armour as high as you can.

Fight with two weapons instead of one and take the Two Weapon Defense feats, My Elven Paladin I play has all of these and I wear ZERO armour because of my high dex and my AC is almost 35. Granted I am level 16 but at level 5 my AC was great from doing this.

Wow I think you should read a post before putting the idea down? I said it was too powerful but since the DM shows some imagination by letting a few of his items scale it is a good fit. Simply remove things from the list until you get what you need. Even just armor + weapon bonus would work for his PC and that by no means breaks a game. The game was meant for you to create you own flavor, if you become too wrapped up in the rules you lose the fun...


Snake Style lets you try to dodge an attack every round with sense motive.


HawaiianWarrior wrote:

So I'm playing a 5th-level ranger and I'm having a hard time with my armor class. The character concept is "Queen of the Jungle", so she wields a spear and most of her skills are focused on climbing, acrobatics, etc. I don't want to violate this character concept but need to bring my AC up from 18 somehow.

Here's what I have:

• 17 DEX (I'll raise it at 8th level)
• Masterwork Darkwood buckler
• Dodge Feat
• Amulet of Natural Armor +1
• Leather Armor (ideally I'd wear less than this, but I made a concession)

How can I increase my AC beyond 18? I'm the party's front-line fighter by default, since our other characters are a cleric, rogue, and druid, though I actually have lower AC then those characters!

Another issue: My character has a philosophical loathing of money and wealth and gold, so I forfeit my loot and have always done so. Thus, I made an arrangement with the DM to have my amulet and spear gradually increase in power on their own. At 6th level, my amulet of natural armor will increase to a +2, bringing my total to 19. And of course at 8th level I'll bring DEX to 18 for a total of 20 AC -- not that great for a front-liner!

I know the obvious answers: wear heavier armor, stop giving up my loot and buy some magic items, get DM permission to rearrange my attributes so I have a higher DEX. None of those are feasible for one reason or another, so are there any options left?

This has always been something that has bothered me about D&D. Attack constantly goes up, but defense requires magic items. *dislike*

If you're using a buckler already, look at the Shield Focus feat tree. There are several shield feats that can increase your AC with the equipment you alreeady have.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How does your dm feel about house rules or 3rd party material to solve this problem?

I have posted house rules for replacing most of a player's magical gear [url =http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz3t1t?My-solution-to-the-Christmas-Tree-Effect]here[/url].

If your character takes teh yuxia archetype from the genius guide to martial archetypes using these rules she ought to be pretty much set with little or no armor.


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You can also check out the Crane Style tree. Crane Style lets you fight defensively for -2 attack instead of -4, Crane Wing lets you deflect one attack per round, and Crane Riposte drops the fight defensively penalty to -1 (and gives you a free attack when you deflect one.

So starting with your 18 AC and your current equipment:
Shield Focus: AC 19 (+1 to any shield you're using)

Fight defensively: AC 21 (+1 if you have 3 ranks in Acrobatics) but -4 attack

Crane Style (Fight defensively): AC 22 (+1 for 3 ranks/Acrobatics) but -2 attack

Crane Wing (Fight defensively): AC 22 (+1 for 3 ranks/Acrobatics) but -2 attack; each round, you can deflect 1 attack that hits you

Crane Riposte (Fight defensively): AC 22 (+1 for 3 ranks/Acrobatics) but -1 attack; each round, you can deflect 1 attack that hits you AND get a free attack on the critter who attacked you


I think that is is going to be impossible to keep up AC-wise without armour. This is because the price of all the armour boosters already assume you are wearing the best armour you can. If you want to not wear armour you could abandon AC all together and look for alternative defensive abilities. Some ideas:

1. UMD + a wand of mirror image. costs 750 gp and gives you a 33% chance (on average) to be missed by an attack. gets better with a little AC.

2. Snake Style. With a buffed sense motive you can dodge 1 attack each round. If your DM allows custom items, invest in a +5 sense motive item ASAP.

3. Cloak of Displacement (minor). This give you 20% concealment all the time. Not spectacular and very expensive, but it will help when you have the money for it.

If you want to keep AC, there are some flavourful alternatives to a chain-shirt. You can get a darkleaf Hide shirt. Same AC as a chain shirt, but more "jungly" and the darkleaf makes it look lighter than it is.

Also, enchant your armour and shield to +1 ASAP. That's +2 AC for 2000 gp. That's the cheapest AC boost you will ever get. You should get that before you start getting natural armour amulets.

You could also consider Glamred armour. It costs 27000 gp, but you can make it look like a bikini if you want :)


You can use a ring of protection.


Well you could find a druid (possibly a side quest) find a master druid
for a quest to destroy a plagued forest (possibly a treant) and get the druid to wood shape you a iron wood armour of your choice and you say your character is the "Queen of the jungle" so wood armor would be good
also it's a level 6 druid spell so if you have a druid you can do it that way and it lasts a day so just get him to do it every day for you (unless he needs it i think he can cast it 6 time anyways or for 6 days if so he cna just cast it every other day 1 you 2 him etc) so that could increase your AC a little bit and it will preserve your DEX since wood is lighter than iron and it also stays with your characters name the queen of the jungle


I see no reason at all none absolutely none why your DM should allow you to have things that are against the game rules simply because you are choosing to play your character in such a way that you give up money and don't buy magic items… You made that decision to cripple your character now you must live with the consequences… Don't try to weasel things out of the DM because of your role playing choices you crippled your own character now live with it

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A little harsh, alwaysangry, but I agree with the sentiment. You make horrible choices, live with it. You chose the wrong class to make this idea work. Invulnerable Rager barbarian MIGHT have been able to pull it off, but ranger is right out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Alwaysangry61 wrote:
I see no reason at all none absolutely none why your DM should allow you to have things that are against the game rules simply because you are choosing to play your character in such a way that you give up money and don't buy magic items… You made that decision to cripple your character now you must live with the consequences… Don't try to weasel things out of the DM because of your role playing choices you crippled your own character now live with it

Nice nick, very appropriate.

As for the thread ask your GM, if he accepted your character's concept and has a modicum of experience, he can very well allow you to get stuff differently than how your companions do.
High AC without armor is difficult to get but there's ways around this. High dex, bracers of armor, amulet of natural armor and ring of protection can give you very effective AC but youìll need gold to purchase them OR the GM could just "save up" the gold you should have gained and then allow you to find the stuff you need. It would just be a different way of buying magic items. Then the idea of reskinning the items as magical tatoos or something like that isn't bad at all. You get a tribal tatoo on your neck giving you the effect of amulet of natural armor and it takes the neck slot for you (its magic interferes with the magic of other neck items). You find a strange gloving stone that melds with one of your fingers... it has the same effect of ring of protection. Your bracers of armor are old bronze bracialets you inherited from one of your witch grandmothers and so on. Mechanically nothing changes but your character gets what it needs and you get the flavour you want.
This game is meant to be enjoyed and tweaking things is more than acceptable, don't listen to those who claim otherwise. As long as you are not greedy and get an equal share everything should be fine.


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Please, continue. I'm sure the opening poster is still looking for feedback even though it has been five years.


im sure your harsh words will manage to reach him back in 2012 when this game was relivent.....

as for actual advice i know its probably way way to late now but in the future you can ask your dm if they will let you use the automatic bonus progression system inplace of actual magic items


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The interesting thing is that this thread was necroed just when several armorless archetypes are being published in the Worldscape Pathfinder comic series.


it old question I would now ask my DM if it ok to use a 3rd party feat this is link to the feats in question and we play tested them and found they work out ok

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/3rd-party-feats/tripod-machine/combat-feats-- -3rd-party---tripod-machine/agile-defense-combat/

Agile Defence [Combat, General]
Prerequisites: Dodge.
Benefits: You gain a dodge bonus to AC, based on your Base Attack Bonus. Base Attack Bonus Dodge AC Bonus +0 to +5 Plus +1 +6 to +10 Plus +2 +11 to +15 Plus +3 +16 to +20 Plus +4 Special: This ability is reduced by AC of the armour that is worn, by the character of this feat.

Improved Agile Defence [Combat, General]
Prerequisites: Dodge, Agile Defence.
Benefits: You gain a dodge bonus to AC, based on your Base Attack Bonus. Base Attack Bonus Dodge AC Bonus +0 to +5 Plus +3 +6 to +10 Plus +4 +11 to +15 Plus +5 +16 to +20 Plus +6 Special: This ability is reduced by AC of the armour that is worn, by the character of this feat.

Greater Agile Defence [Combat, General]
Prerequisites: Dodge, Agile Defence, Improved Agile Defence
Benefits: You gain a dodge bonus to AC, based on your Base Attack Bonus. Base Attack Bonus Dodge AC Bonus +0 to +5 Plus +6 +6 to +10 Plus +7 +11 to +15 Plus +8 +16 to +20 Plus +9 Special: This ability is reduced by AC of the armour that is worn, by the character of this feat.

This is version of the feats we used and my DM let me swap out my character ability to use shields and armour for the feats

I was playing a high dex acrobatic fighter who used twin light blades as with the weapon finness and two weapons combat feats.

No shield use (all shields) swap out for Dodge feat
loss of heavey armour swap for Agile defence
loss of medium armour swap for Improved Agile Defence
loss of light armour swap swap for Greater Agile Defence*

My dex was 18 dex (16+2 for race highest stat) and this given me A/C of 18 at 1st level now we did holded back on the greater agile defence after play testing untill later levels as this made my character armour class too good at 1st level AC21. we swap light armour for mobility in the end and I used a feat at around 9th to get Greater Agile Defence

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